‘Brothers in arms’: how men with cancer experience a sense of comradeship through group intervention which combines physical activity with information relay


L Adamsen, The University Hospital Centre for Nursing and Care Research, Afsnit 7331, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 København Ø, Denmark (e-mail: ucsf@ucsf.dk).


• The study investigated how a group intervention programme (13 sessions over 16 weeks), designed for men with cancer (n=17), affected their sense of well-being and had a positive impact on their ability to cope with the physical, psychological and social consequences of living with cancer. The close-knit relationships fostered between participants stimulated a sense of solidarity and commitment amongst them.

• New thinking in relation to gender, group dynamics and social processes is presented, as are the implications for clinical nursing practice in cancer care. The experience from male orientated group intervention programmes shows that men with cancer have undiscovered strengths, whilst some wish to die ‘with their boots on’.